OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. â€“ U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) conducted a nuclear command and control exercise Sept. 22 in conjunction with air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests.
USSTRATCOM’s exercise was synchronized with a B-52 Stratofortress Nuclear Weapon Systems Evaluation Program (NucWSEP) mission to test the ALCM at the Utah Test and Training Range and an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
The exercise provided an end-to-end test of the nuclear command and control system using an operational scenario which provided the opportunity for USSTRATCOM personnel to simulate actions that would be performed if those test events were actual operational weapon launches.
Inside USSTRATCOM’s Global Operations Center (GOC), Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilians worked to integrate and synchronize the services and components, simulating USSTRATCOM Commander, Adm. Cecil D. Haney’s, ability to command and control the forces simultaneously and demonstrating the capabilities required to deter strategic attacks.
“USSTRATCOM’s most important mission remains to deter strategic attack, particularly a nuclear attack, with a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent force,” said Haney. “The global strategic environment remains challenging and complex, and the successful tests ensure our nuclear deterrent force is postured and ready to execute all of our assigned missions, 24/7.”
A credible and proficient nuclear deterrent force, Haney added, is foundational to more than just U.S. national security and strategic stability.
“We are committed to the strategic deterrent force, and sustainment and modernization of our nuclear deterrent force and supporting weapons complexes. These tests demonstrate our commitment to our allies and partners. Our security â€“ and theirs â€“ is non-negotiable,” he said.
In a video message to USSTRATCOM which aired at a recent commemoration, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reiterated the importance of USSTRATCOM’s nuclear deterrence mission.
“Our nuclear deterrent is the foundation of U.S. national security. No capability we maintain is more important. (USSTRATCOM) sends a clear message to our allies and our enemies about America’s determination and resolve,” Hagel said in the message. “Your mission is as important today as it has ever been, throughout the command’s storied history.”
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